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Naturalization Index - WWI Soldiers

  • Conflict:   World War I
  • Records:   18,303
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Naturalization Index - WWI Soldiers

Overview Description

Typed index cards with names, dates of naturalization, court numbers, and certificate numbers of soldiers in WWI whose naturalizations were facilitated so they could serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Declaration of Intention requirement was typically waived to speed up the process. Many soldiers filed petitions and were naturalized in the same day. Courts were often located at military bases. Browse the index by a soldier's last name, or search by given name, surname, base name, or court number.

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Naturalization Index for August Fiel Naturalization Index for Matteo Iafallo


Publication Title:
Naturalization Index - WWI Soldiers
Content Source:
The National Archives logo The National Archives
Publication Number:
Record Group:
Published on Fold3:
Last Update:
December 12, 2008
NARA M1952. Index cards for locating naturalization records for soldiers serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I, specifically the year 1918.


Aliens serving in the US military did not gain citizenship through service
alone. The naturalization of soldiers was performed under certain provisions of
nationality law facilitating the naturalization of members of the US armed
forces. These provisions waived the Declaration of Intention requirement and
waived or reduced the residency requirement. Thus many soldiers filed petitions and
were naturalized the same day.

The expedited naturalization of soldiers could have been performed at
either a Federal, State or local court having jurisdiction over the soldier's military
base, or a judge from any of those courts might have held "naturalization court" at
the military base. In either case, one copy of the petition should be on file in the
court's records. Another copy was filed with the Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS), which holds duplicate copies of all naturalizations granted after
September 26, 1906.

To locate a World War I soldier's naturalization, begin by searching the
Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers. 1918, among the Records of the
Immigration and Naturalization Service and microfilmed as M1952. Note: Not all
US military bases are included on this index.

If the soldier's name appears in the index file, the index card will contain the
soldier's name, date of naturalization, court of naturalization (indicated by court
number), certificate number, and name of the military base to which the soldier was
assigned as of that date. The court number can be converted to the name of an actual
court (i.e. US District Court, Trenton, NJ) by reference to the Directory of Courts
having Jurisdiction in Naturalization Proceedings

If the soldier's name does not appear in the index file, the researcher may
file a Freedom of Information/Privacy Act request to the Headquarters, Bureau of
Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), Washington, D.C. 20536, using
Form G-639 (identifying the soldier by name, date of birth, and place of birth). A
search of BCIS records will be determine whether the alien ever naturalized
anywhere in the United States, under military or any other provision of US nationality law.

*Directory of Courts Having Jurisdiction in Naturalization Proceedings, US Department of Justice, 1963. A microfilm copy of this publication is available through the Family History Library, film #1730286.

This description is taken from the NARA descriptive pamphlet for publication M1952.

Additional resources

Please see the Fold3 description for naturalization indexes for more information about what data may be included on a petition, as well as how to order a copy of the naturalization documents.


Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918. Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85, Publication Number M1952; National Archives, Washington.

This is an excellent collection of filmed index cards, one for each soldier. However: What do these index cards index? Do they index a naturlaization record or naturalization file? Especially we need to know WHAT IS CONTAINED IN THIS RECORD OR FILE? Does it contain the soldier's date of birth? City or country of birth? Civilian address? Info about spouse or children? Date or place of immigration? Genealogists need to know what a record contains, to decide whether it is worth the trouble and expense of ordering the record. If the records indexed here contain only the regiment number, military specialty, and blood type of the soldier, it is of very little worth. People researching their grandfathers who served in WWI also need to know how to obtain the records which these index cards index. Thanks for the great work you are doing at Footnote!

Please see the description of naturalization records at for an answer to your question.

My father's surname is spelled wrong, one letter within the name replaced with another letter. I found him by searching first name only and birth year. I know this is him, because I do know he was there at that time. Is there any way to get the name corrected or at least cross referenced?

When ordering the naturalization does anyone know if I would use the C prefix or the OM prefix? C is used for in country, OM is used for soldiers while overseas. The court is listed as "Sevier" which seems to be a camp in Greenville, NC, so does that make it a "C"?

The 'Directory of Courts Having Jurisdiction in Naturalization Proceedings', can be found online at The naturalization will be an 'M' number, standing for Military.